Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Sweet Side of Bitter Leaf (Africa)

  • Bitter leaf, with botanical name Vernonia amygdalina, is the bitter, leafy shrub or small tree that can reach 23 feet in height when fully grown. it is widely eaten in East and West Africa. it is variously called onugbu (Ibo), orubu (Urobro and Itsekiri), ewuro (Yoruba), etidot (Ibibio), ityuna (Tiv), oriwo (Edo), and chusa-doki (Hausa).
  •  It can be used in various cookings, including yam porridge, melon and vegetable soups. Many people reduce the bitterness by first squeezing the leaves with salty water.
  • Bitter leaf features in the herbal treatments used for various common ailments, including fever, certain intestinal complaints, parasites- induced diseases.
  • For women, bitter leaf is good for the body either before, during or after menopause, as it takes care of such symptoms as hot flashes, internal heat and rheumatism.
  • Bitter leaf does not supply oestrogen, but it helps the body to produce the right amount of oestrogen needed for life function.
  • if you are not diabetic or allegic to honey, you can sweeten bitter leaf juice with honey, as it is good for the body.
  • The fresh leaf of bitter leaf could also be squeezed and juiced into a glass of water. This should be taken every morning and night to control the unpleasant symptoms of manopause.
  • Bitter leaf enhances the immune system. Many scientific studies shows that its extract may strengthen the immune system.
  • Its aqueous extracts could be used as tonics for various illnesses, including emesis (vomiting), nausea and diabetes.
  • The extracts could be used in the treatment of dysentery and other gastro-intestinal tract challenges.


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